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A Survey On REAL Family Dinners: Do Actual Moms Cook for the Kids Every Night?

Family DinnerIt’s 2:30 pm, just about the time I realize dinner time is only a few hours away and I’ve got nothing to serve. Sure, dinner comes once a day, every 24-hours. It’s not like it’s a surprise. Yet still, every 2:30 I’m caught staring at my open refrigerator wondering, “What should I make for dinner tonight?”

It’s exhausting.

I should tell you that I’m not much of a cook. It’s not that I can’t, I just don’t really want to. “Why cook?” I joke with friends, “When other people do it so much better?” So for dinner I serve my share of deli-counter dinners or roast chickens courtesy of the market. I’m also a big fan of Trader Joe’s. What Mom isn’t? Their prepared foods are great for those of us who hate to prepare foods.

One of the reasons I never know what to make for dinner is that I never seem to have the right ingredients in the house. I swear I go to the grocery store 10 times a week. But when I look in the fridge, there’s little to show for it. Some Moms can just whip something up from what they’ve got on hand. Me? I can whip up something from what I’ve got on hand. I just can’t guarantee anyone will want to eat it.

As 2:30 rolls around today, I’m chatting on the phone with a buddy. I ask her what she’s serving for dinner. “Ugh, I don’t know yet. And time is ticking,” she responds. Clearly, I’m not alone.

So I take a little survey. It’s a totally un-scientific, I just asked my friends on Facebook, kind of survey. I ask, “What are you serving for dinner. And tell the truth!” The response is amazing.

One friend has just ordered Domino’s while another is debating between McDonald’s and “YO-YO.” (You’re On Your Own.) I laugh out loud. Already I feel better. I may not always cook, but my kids always have a healthy dinner it’s just not always made by me. Another friend is making breakfast for dinner, giving her kids French Toast with roasted veggies on the side. A clever idea, if I do say so myself.

There seems to be a whole host of others getting Thai takeout and others defrosting pre-cooked meals. A few are cooking and feel proud, boasting roast chickens and vegetables I’d have no idea how to cook. And few others are cooking and feel annoyed. Sure cooking is fun, it’s the clean up that’s not. One friend is mixing up some Mac ’N Cheese while another has cooked a roast. And if she doesn’t have too much wine by dinner, she confesses, there’ll be gravy. I’m assuming there was no gravy.

Everyone seems interested in talking about dinner. The Facebook and Twitter responses go on and on with more people than not confessing that they too don’t know what to serve for dinner. A few friends describe meals worthy of Julia Child, but they are few and far between. Reading the responses makes me hungry, which reminds me I still don’t have anything to serve for dinner.

I consider Googling some recipe and racing out to the market to get any missing ingredients, but that means I’ll have to spend the remainder of my day at the market or cooking. Instead, I opt for some pasta and meatballs I have on hand. I cut up a crudité. My kids sit down and devour their food.

I’m cooking-ish. It’s the best I can do. Clearly I’m not alone.